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was thrust into the presidential campaign this week. >> i am going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i'm going to stop other things. i like pbs. i like big bird and i like you too. >> somebody is finally getting tough on big bird. elmo, you better make a run for it. >> reporter: campaign surrogates keep it alive today. >> he's taking the battle straight to "sesame straight" and let wall street run hog wild. >> reporter: so was it a mistake targeting america's favorite yellow bird? >> george, it wasn't a targeting it was a just pointing to one example that big bird is a pretty commercially successful entity. >> reporter: but the truth is the show relies on less than 0.1% of funding from federal dollars. after the debate, some 17,000 tweets per minute came in about #bigbird. welcome to the middle class, big bird. despite or because of it, big bird has helped the romney campaign to raise $12 million in the 48 hours after the debate. >> how did you find out that your name had been mentioned in the debate? >> oh, i got a million tweets. >> okay, so you're on twitter. >> no, i'm a bird. tweeting is
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